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CEO Update | 11

NABH Comments on Rise in U.S. Suicide Rates

NABH issued a news release about the need for wider access to behavioral healthcare services in the United States after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this week that suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016.

The CDC’s report was released days after designer Kate Spade, 55, died by suicide at her home in New York, and a day before it was reported that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, 61, died by suicide in France.

“Our country has faced a difficult week filled with very sad news and grim statistics,” NABH President and CEO Mark Covall said in the news release. “We know that with suicide, hope lies in effective mental health and substance use disorder services—at inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities, addiction treatment centers, and outpatient settings.”

According to the CDC, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, and nearly 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016. Overall, suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the country and rose more than 30 percent in half of the states since 1999.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides tools and resources through its Suicide Preventionpage and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As always, NABH appreciates the hard work of its members each day to care for people with mental health and substance use disorders. Please learn more from Mark Covall in his LinkedIn article about this week’s news and NABH’s advocacy efforts to widen access to behavioral healthcare services for people who need it.


National Governors Association Supports House Opioid Legislation

The nation’s governors this week sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that supports several House bills to address the nation’s opioid crisis, including the IMD CARE Act.

“We ask that any bills considered by Congress ensure that federal strategies preserve state flexibility allowing governors to meet the specific needs of their state,” said the June 7 letter from the National Governors Association. “Governors need increased financial and technical support to address this crisis and we urge Congress to avoid burdensome requirements on state programs.”

On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that enacting the IMD CARE Act would increase direct federal spending by $991 million between 2019 and 2028.

The bill—which NABH supports—would expand Medicaid coverage for people experiencing opioid use disorder who are in institutions for mental diseases, or IMDs, for up to 30 days per year. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill last month. In the upper chamber, the Senate Finance Committee will consider an opioid legislative package next week.


SAMHSA Names Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

In a letter to colleagues this week, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD announced that Capt. Chideha Ohuoha, MD, MPH, will join SAMHSA to lead the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Since 2008, Ohuoha has been stationed at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Va. as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He has served as director of addiction medicine there since 2015.

“Capt. Ohuoha completed his psychiatric residency at St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. and completed a three-year addiction psychiatry fellowship at NIMH,” McCance-Katz wrote to her staff, adding that Ohuoha earned a master’s degree in public health from Harvard. “Capt. Ohuoha’s experience in addiction psychiatry will be a great asset to SAMHSA and CSAT. His official start date here at SAMHSA will be June 11.”


Addiction Policy Forum Launches Resource Center to Address Opioid Crisis

Not-for-profit organization the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) this week launched the Addiction Resource Center—which features a phone line and online portal—to support the millions of Americans battling substance use disorder as well as their families.

The online portal is an interactive website intended to help individuals and families learn about substance use disorders and access help. The platform features a database of vetted local treatment providers and provides a self-assessment tool to help individuals develop a proposed action plan.

Meanwhile, the hotline—1-833-301-HELP (4357)—is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET to provide confidential support and information about local treatment and recovery services.


Prepare Early for National Recovery Month in September

SAMHSA announced this week that its toolkit to prepare for National Recovery Month in September is now available.

Now in its 29th year, National Recovery Month is meant to promote awareness and understanding about mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate individuals living in recovery.

This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in health, Home, Purpose and Community, and more information—including SAMHSA’s toolkit—is available here.


For questions or comments about CEO Update, please contact Jessica Zigmond.

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CEO Update | 06

NABH Focuses on IMD Repeal Exclusion During May’s Mental Health Month

NABH on Friday kicked off a monthlong social media campaign centered on urging lawmakers to repeal the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion.

Mental Health Month in May provides an opportunity for NABH to promote its message that the IMD exclusion blocks access to mental healthcare within a heightened national conversation about mental health.

Please follow NABH on Twitter @NAHBbehavioral and on LinkedIn at the National Association for Behavioral Healthcare. And please engage in the conversation by retweeting our messages using the hashtags #MentalHealthMonth and #MHM2018 on Twitter and sharing our messages with your connections on LinkedIn.


House Energy and Commerce Committee to Consider Opioid Legislation Next Week

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced his full committee will begin to markup legislation to fight the nation’s opioid crisis next week.

Walden’s full panel will review the opioid-related bills in its first markup on Wednesday, May 9, and the bills will be posted here on Monday, May 7. The committee announced the second markup is scheduled for Thursday, May 17.

In late April, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee advanced 57 bills to address the opioid crisis and passed 48 of those bills by voice vote.


HSAG Invites Comments on Proposed Screening for Pregnancy Quality Measure

On behalf of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) is inviting healthcare professionals, stakeholder organizations, and individuals to provide comments on the Screening for Pregnancy measure.

HSAG’s announcement noted that after the measure is made final, CMS could propose that it be adopted in the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility (IPF) Quality Reporting program. The IPF Outcome and Process Measure Development and Maintenance Project is developing the measure, which assesses the percentage of female patients of childbearing age (15-44 years) admitted to an IPF who have had a pregnancy status in their medical record.

The public comment period begins Friday, May 4 and extends through Thursday, May 31 at noon ET. Click here for more information, and click here to submit comments. Please contact Marie Hall at if you have trouble submitting comments.


NIH Launches ‘All of Us’ Research Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced its All of Us research program, which is meant to engage 1 million or more volunteers in the United States to contribute their health data to improve health outcomes and stimulate development of new treatments for diseases.

The program is a piece of the Precision Medicine Initiative, or PMI, a research effort to transform how we improve health and treat disease.

According to the NIH, PMI is intended to leverage advances in genomics; emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets while also protecting privacy; and health information technology to hasten biomedical discoveries.


Study Shows Improved Performance in Hospitals Reporting Inpatient Psychiatric Services Measures to The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission announced this week that a study in the July 2018 issue of Psychiatric Services shows hospitals reporting inpatient psychiatric services measures to The Joint Commission demonstrated improved performance on measures related to admission screening, multiple antipsychotic medication justification, discharge planning, and restraint and seclusion use.


For questions or comments about the CEO Update, please contact Jessica Zigmond.

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